With a defunct homeowners association and glaring lack of community groups, Cottonwood residents have not had as many chances as some to know their neighbors. Don Parrot wants that to change.
The 65-year-old health-care marketing specialist is attempting to bind the 1,400-home neighborhood piece by piece, home by home. Using the website Nextdoor.com, a private social network for neighborhoods, Parrot has signed up more than 40 households, and is hoping to involve more people in community activities.
His hope is not to resurrect the HOA or elect a board that will charge fees, but rather to build cohesion among neighbors through events like community picnics. Having a solid collective voice will also provide better representation when local elected officials discuss issues that directly affect Cottonwood residents, Parrot says.
An organized group could establish “economic clout” for requesting discounts from nearby businesses strictly for Cottonwood homeowners, he said. One professional garage door installer who lives in the subdivision is already using Nextdoor.com to offer a 10 percent discount to Cottonwood residents. The group could also secure less expensive rates on trash pickup.
Former mayoral candidate Adele Laurent, who ran for the elected position in November in part to give Cottonwood a voice, said she fully supports Parrot’s efforts to unify neighbors. She suggested that it could lead to the formation of a softball team or other interest groups.
“Everyone I’ve talked to is for the whole idea of the community getting together and working towards a common goal,” she said.
Parrot moved into Cottonwood two years ago and wondered why there was not an active HOA. A cursory search of county records revealed that an HOA was formed, but never given the power to assess dues, and it later disbanded. Covenants were established, but never enforced, and some residents ignored yard and house upkeep. The community earned the unflattering moniker “Cottonhood.” Laurent has previously lived in Stroh Ranch and Canterberry Crossing and doesn’t believe the dubious distinction is justified.
“The people in Canterberry and Stroh are no better than the people in Cottonwood,” she said, adding there are no HOA rules that could cause divisiveness among neighbors who report each other for violations.
Residents can sign up on the website, however, a credit card is required and charged one penny to verify their address. The easiest way to get involved without a credit card is to email Parrot at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to the list.
Homeowners will be kept up to date on ongoing projects and initiatives, including the new urban renewal district that the Town of Parker established to help clean up commercial blight in Cottonwood.